- CRS CEO sheds light on increasingly tough political discourse.
- Participants emphasized the importance of finding common ground.
- The outcome of the seminar will be shared with the leadership of the parties.
Islamabad: Major political parties of Pakistan have reached a consensus on holding an All Party Conference (APC) to address the growing problem of extremist language fueled by politics that incites hatred and violence. news Reported on Thursday.
The parties reached this understanding during a dialogue titled ‘Common Resolution for Political Harmony’ organized by Communications Research Strategies (CRS), a leader in strategic communication and research-based interventions in the country.
Senior parliamentarians representing seven major political parties including Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Awami National Party (ANP), National Democratic Movement and Politicians (NDM) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) stressed the need for an APC or any other mechanism that would enable constructive dialogue between political forces.
Advisor to Prime Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Senator Pervez Rashid, PTI Information Secretary Rauf Hasan, Senator Anwarul Haq Kakar, SAPM Romina Khurshid Alam, MNA Sabir Kayamkhani, Member CEC PPP Chaudhary Manzoor Ahmed and Information Secretary ANP (Punjab) Nadeem Sarwar represented their parties.
Zafarullah Khan, former executive director of the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Affairs (PIPA) and constitutional literacy advocate, moderated the conversation.
Welcoming the participants, CRS CEO Anik Jafar highlighted the emerging situation in the country where political discourse is becoming increasingly harsh, with the potential for violence by non-state actors against political forces.
Recognizing the seriousness of the situation, the participants emphasized the importance of finding a common ground through the Charter of Democracy (CoD) to address the major structural issues hindering political and economic development in the country.
One of the primary objectives discussed during the conference was to develop a well-intentioned national consensus against extremism and terrorism, with no soft stance towards existing or new terrorist groups.
Participants strongly advocated against using such groups for political engineering and called for an immediate disarmament of society to reduce the potential threat of violence during the upcoming elections.
In addition, the seminar highlighted the ‘economy of terrorism’, which perpetuates the menace of terrorism in the country.
The participants acknowledged the need to investigate and address the financial sources that fuel terrorist activities, emphasizing its impact on foreign and strategic policy choices.
To strengthen the political process, the participants expressed interest in setting up a ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’.
Such a commission could play an important role in facilitating reconciliation and resolving past conflicts, contributing to the overall stability and inclusiveness of the political landscape.
Finally, the delegates jointly agreed to share the outcome of the seminar with the leadership of all political parties through a formal letter.
He also advocated the convening of an All Party Conference (APC) well in time before the elections for a comprehensive debate on the code of conduct for the next elections, to ensure that all voices are heard and represented.
This concerted effort towards inclusive dialogue and cooperation among political parties reflects the shared commitment to a free, fair and peaceful electoral process in Pakistan, which ultimately promotes national unity, stability and progress.